FROM THE PREZ....
Aviculture; or as the Brits say "taking up birds".
I don't often enough get the chance to "chat up" someone aboutcanaries, much less American Singers. However, this year I was luckyenough to speak to three parties who displayed interest. It occurredto me that each one of us who keeps, breeds and shows birds is not init just for the love, glory and money (right!), but for the fact thatwe are helping to preserve a hobby whose popularity is dwindling. Topreserve the breeds we love in the hope that someone else will comealong and want to do the same and still others will covet them aspets. I keep hoping the Boomers will come to their senses anddiscover the joys and comfort of our feathered friends. Or perhapsthis wish is in vain and the coming generations are too fascinatedwith their technology and running around. I had the chance torealize that at this point in time, that keeping birds, breeding andshowing was not so vain an advocation but was an act of PRESERVATION.For how long? For my life at least. Oh yes, and I hope for the newupstart I managed to "hook" this year. Yes I am quite content toknow that another fancier to my passion joins me. Isn't this whatbeing part of a club should be?
Doesn't it just amaze you how a flat, compact newspaper fluffs upso well to consume your entire garbage can? Well finally a lightcame on...WET IT down to compact it! duh?!
Double-check those Lixit bottle nozzles when you put them in thecage, be sure the ball is down to the tip or water won't dispense.Lost one that way... Otherwise these bottles are real time savers; Ichange and wash once every 5 to 7 days instead of the old dailychange.
Check out those twist in perches, easier to position around a cageand much better for their feet as well as a breeze to wash (plastic).
Order your birds, breeding supplies, catalogs, antibiotics,probiotics, egg food, bands, cages etc. It's never too early. Oftentimes suppliers run out and are back ordered. Don't be disappointed.
Right after our Quad I'll start conditioning for breeding as wellas increasing my lights to 12 1Ú2 hours of light. I usually set up myfirst hens on Christmas day.
Listen at those shows, take notes and ask questions of the otherbreeders. This chance come once a year to share info and swap ideas.
NO WIN TOO SMALL
Remember to be a gracious winner and loser and that no win is toosmall. Each is a recognition of achievement from one step to thenext. Last year one sixth place win netted his owner the $500lottery grand prize. This was the breeder's only placement that dayand a hell of a lot better than a Best in Show!
GIVE THOSE GIRLS ANOTHER LOOK
Plan carefully your hens for next season. Examine her pedigree,do her brothers and father sing a good clean song, with lots ofvariety? If not let her go. If she has superior body type all thebetter, Often times our singers aren't the most beautiful in type andwe must depend on our hen line for size and type. The exception hereis a hen from a great line who is inbred/ linebred and has a scrappylook, use her, chances are she'll throw better type than herself.
When looking for new blood or an outcross, if possible look for abird who already posses some of your blood already. A total unrelatedoutcross is risky. You join millions of random genes together into ahuge hodge-podge with years of work to redirect a line of birds. Ifyou study our A.S. breeding plan it involves meshing a great songbird by means of line and inbreeding, not just roller and border butgreat songed rollers and borders carefully bred within a family toproduce a line. After bringing in new singer blood, if the resultingmales are an improvement over their sire and the hens male line thenretain the sisters to breed from. In theory they carry the fatherssong and the promise of her brothers. Those first cross males carrymuch more diversity. If lucky enough to attain a daughter of a greatsinger, and hopefully her pedigree is linebred, breed her best sonsback to her.
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